Chalk Another One Up To Miscommunication!! The Stapleton Chalk scandal

Chalk Another One Up To Miscommunication!! The Stapleton Chalk scandal

Chalk another one up to miscommunication!! The Stapleton Chalk Scandal.

Mark Twain said  "A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on." ...

Let me start off by clarifying 4 things. stapleton chalk scandal

1. Stapleton has a master homeowners association. With several sub associations

2. The Stapleton master association(MCA) does not have any rules against chalk use in the common areas. Sidewalk chalk has NOT been banned anywhere in Stapleton!

3. Not one sub-associations in Stapleton outlaw chalk but have processes in place to protect all homeowners rights in regards to shared spaces as all Homeowners associations do.

4. Stapleton is a welcoming community for ALL PEOPLE. With kids, without kids and for kids of all ages.

Now my blog may not reach the size of audience that may have heard these facts differently, but as a very active Stapletonite I wanted to put out to the world wide web those truths. What is hard to watch is how this story has taken on a life of it's own outside of the real story. We have all played the game operator. The game where you whisper something to the person next to you and then the next person tells the next the same story with a little change and by the time it comes around to the start you have a total different story.

I have several issues with how this story is playing out on what is now an international stage. As a committed and active homeowner(Vice President of Stapleton United Neighbhors) and resident of Stapleton, as a Realtor worrying about our home values and as an American citizen in this litigious society with sensationalist media and people always looking for Tom Martino to solve our problems.

Let me explain what happened and see how you would react.

Dear Homeowners:

Just a friendly reminder to please be sure to remove your personal belongings from the court yards at the end of every day. Items should not be left out over night.

Also, while the sidewalk artwork is beautiful, please do not allow children to draw on the common area sidewalks or in the courtyards.

Thank you everyone!

This email was sent by the management company, who was responding, in my opinion, lightly to the concerns of some of the other homeowners living in this sub-association community. This sub association is currently being sold and filled with homeowners. Approximately eight to ten owners share the courtyard and common space. this community has not developed any additional rules or regulations outside of what these people had already agreed to when they purchased these homes.

This email did not ban the use of chalk. In fact, a letter was sent to the members of this community encouraging people to color on their driveways and on any sidewalks in front of and adjacent to their homes. They simply asked that the entire courtyard(which is shared by 8-10 people) not be colored. This community also organized a community mediation meeting so that the issue could be discussed between its owners. It is those owners and their comments that would be considered if any additional rules were to ever be made. I understand that meeting is currently set up for next Tuesday. In the time frame in between the complaint to the time of setting up this meeting(2 weeks) This story has been covered by international and nationally syndicated news sources such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN as well as local coverage. All before any solution based discussion could be had. I am not saying that anyone on either side of the argument is wrong, I truly am not. But what I am trying to show is that there are proper ways to let things run its course and how things can be blown out of proportion, most of the time with unintended consequences.

Stapleton chalk scandalNow, we have a management company doing it's job, a nationally recognized builder, a nationally recognized community, an HOA board that hasn't even been established yet, and a family with an innocent 3 year old are all on the defense before any of them know what they are fighting for or against. We have a master association, neighborhood groups and a master developer slamming out rebuttal press releases. I really feel that after mediation and the process runs through the proper channel this situation will be resolved peacefully and without incident. But what is left in the aftermath? I am sure there won't be a correction article written in the New York Times or another race out here by Anderson Cooper to set the record straight. All that is left is a tarnished reputation of several unassociated parties and a bunch of misconceptions about the Stapleton Community.

People in the UK or Pittsburgh that may get a phone call tomorrow saying their job is transferred to Denver and they need a kid friendly place to move, will do a little research or remember that article they heard on the news about this ridiculous community in Denver that doesn't allow children. Builders in Stapleton will have to spend the first 10 minutes of their sales presentation countering what people thought they read about. Active volunteers in the community will be questioned about what they are doing about this outrageous situation.

Selling real estate, being involved in your community and even getting along with your neighbor are hard enough as it is without this kind of pressure. We need to be stewards of what we believe in but also of our surroundings. Knowing what can happen with a well intended public outcry and what it can do to property values and just the ability to get along with another. Politicians, Advertisers and the media all count on misinformation to help their causes. I hope as the great neighborhood that Stapleton is, we have enough community strength to both conquer this divisive chalk art situation and maybe chip away at the bigger problems of misinformation that plagues our society and getting along with others. 



let kids be kids I say ... you are right on how a little thing can get blown out of proportion ... besides the next time the sprinklers go off the chalk drawings will disappear ... 

Posted by Lehel Szucs, REALTOR of choice (All Seasons Real Estate, Inc.) over 6 years ago

I hadn't heard about this brou-ha-ha in Stapleton.  Sadly, the PR damage is done, but memories are very short.  It'll blow over and not affect values.

Posted by Eric Peltier, Mortgage Lender in Boulder CO (Eric Peltier - Premier Mortgage Group - Boulder Colorado) over 6 years ago

Hilarious. This is Greg Diggs. I am one of the first Stapleton residents and one of the founding board members of Stapleton United Neighbors. I usually try to be diplomatic and noncombative. But many aspects of this story is ridiculous...and the tone of the blog is unfortunate.

1. It's Just Chalk. Too bad that the neighbors could not have spoken to each other before making a complaint, or complaints to the neighborhood association or sub-association. Common courtesy would seem to suggest that you try to notifiy people of your concerns first. Right? Just my opinion.

2. The sub-association could do a similar thing. Talk to the complaintant. Talk to the person who is being complained about. Maybe talk to some other neighbors just to find out what the scope of the issue is. Common courtesy. Right? Find out what the situation is.

3. The "perpetrator" (hilarious)...upon receiving the email notice, could also just talk to their neighbors. They don't have to wait for the identification of the complaintant from the sub-association. (LOL, why would the association release that information?). Go around. Talk to your neighbors. This is Stapleton for crying out loud! Why go to the media...before talking to your neighbors?

So everyone might have been able to avoid some angst and publicity by just talking to each other. I'm not sure how much "miscommunication" there was...but a lack of good communication seems clear. With that said, I a disappointed, but amused by the tone of the blog. Because IMO...the real responsibility here...and fault (if any) lies with the Homeowners Association...particularly the subassociation. They clearly did not do their jobs well. Your assertions that the management company and HOA were doing their job on this at variance with the facts. Seems like an advocacy piece and "politically correct" point of view. Seems like the authors are concerned about publicity, not the actual issues. Seems like some spin to me. Realators concerned about "what people will think" if they consider moving to Stapleton. Sorry. That's pretty disappointing.

Stapleton is Stapleton. We've been around for a while now. This story is unfortunate; the situation could have been handled differently. The nation has has a laugh at our expense. But don't worry. Stapleton is larger than an amusing newstory that will make folks laugh. This is not actually a horrifying story. It is actually pretty cute. From the inside and from the outside. If it presents some challenges in real estate??? Okay...Oooops. Sorry. But Breathe....just breathe. Brush your shoulders off. Smile...and get back to business. Stapletone is great. I doubt that a "negative" chalk story is going to scare people away.

This crying about how developers and real estate people will now have to take time to talk about this issue with interested people is real...but superficial. So what? Get over it. Now I am giggling. Can you even imagine the conversation between buyers later: "Gee honey, nice homes, beautiful community, nice people...but you know...they don't allow "chalk". They are just to facist for me!"   REALLY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? That's just not going to be happinging.

Posted by Gregory Diggs over 6 years ago


Seems like we missed each other a bit on this one. I know you know that I am very active in Stapleton in addition to being a Realtor and have more than our reputation in mind. I am the Vice president of SUN, chairman of the housing diversity committee, and cochair of the Inclusivity committee that you are member of.

You are correct that it was more lack of communication than mis communication but the real gist of the blog is what happened after. Not the little squable but the rapid fire spreading of the wrong parts of the story. As trivial as a lot of it is I think it is indicative of the media and even gossiping neighborhood folks it spreads things poorly. Next time it may be an issue that is more serious and it will be more than a little joke that passes across the world in literally days. I would love to talk to you off line on this issue because I do know a lot about the details and could maybe share them with you better without my slant of sarcasm. 


Posted by StapletonHomeTeam KnopHomeTeam Distinctive Properties, For an UnReal Estate Experience call the Knop Home (Distinctive Properties) over 6 years ago